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Iraqi Shi'ites Postpone Decision to Choose Prime Minister


Iraq's Shi'ite politicians have postponed until Sunday a decision to select a new prime minister.

The United Iraqi Alliance met Saturday, to choose between two contenders - Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi. Each is supported by two major factions in the Shi'ite alliance.

But Shi'ite sources say followers of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr wanted more time to discuss the candidates.

Iraq's Shi'ite alliance won the largest number of parliament seats in the nation's December 15th election. Under Iraq's constitution, the new parliament should convene within the next two weeks.

Separately, Kuwait's al-Rai television station says the kidnappers in Iraq of American journalist Jill Carroll are threatening to kill her if their demands are not met by February 26.

The militants previously had demanded that all Iraqi women prisoners be freed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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